The Tara Tantra

The Tara Tantra

Tara's Fundamental Ritual Text (Tara-mula-kalpa)

Susan A. Landesman


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A groundbreaking English translation of a key tantric text in the history of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism.

This volume contains an English translation of the “root text” of the Tara-mula-kalpa, a scripture-ritual compendium that captures an important Buddhist tantric tradition in mid-formation. In this regard it is utterly unique and unlike any other text in the Buddhist canon. Its contents document the emergence of the quintessential female Buddha Tara in seventh-century India. As her popularity grew, her cult spread throughout Southeast Asia, as well as Tibet, where she became revered as the “Mother” of the Tibetan people. Tara is worshiped for a variety of reasons, from health and long life, to wealth, protection from enemies, and ultimately, the mind of enlightenment. Her presence pervades the evolution of Buddhism in Tibet, including within royal circles, as well as mentor and guide to many important Buddhist scholars, practitioners, and lineage holders.


Susan A. Landesman:
Susan Landesman is an independent scholar and educator living and working in New York City. She is the author of “Tara and the Tara-mula-kalpa: The Tara Cult’s Formative Period in India,” “Goddess Tara: Silence and Secrecy on the Path to Enlightenment,” “Tara” (in the Oxford Bibliographies), and The Tara Tantra: Part II: The Uttara-tantra (forthcoming). She specializes in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan art, and women in Buddhism, having completed her doctorate in Indian and Tibetan languages and cultures at Columbia University.